Ms. Creighton receives a letter addressed to her by Tom. However, she can not read the letter so she hands it off to Jethro to read. The letter is about Tom's involvement in the battle for Fort Donelson.
In the battle, Tom gives most of the credit to the ironclads that participated. He knows that the Union could not have won without them. He also includes how many soldiers in his unit disposed of their blankets and coats because of the warm weather, but froze to death when it suddenly turned cold.
Here is da ledder, Shad
Ms. Creighton is deeply affected by the letter. She feels sorrow and Jethro feels loneliness. She suggests to Jethro that he bring the letter to Shadrach so he can read it.
Seven stars are in the sky...
Jethro showed the letter to Jenny. After, he left for Shadrach's house later that night, in the cold weather.
Jethro arrives at Shadrach's house and shows him the letter. While Jethro thinks the war will soon be over, Shadrach disproves his belief. He explains how the battle at Fort Donelson was very small compared to a map he drew.
Jethro and Shadrach enjoy chicken and bread after their talk of the letter. Shadrach sings "Seven Stars" by Jethro's request. Jethro then points out that some have called the song "witch talk." Shadrach says to him upon hearing this that you can not prove things right or wrong, you can only believe if they are.